Friday, June 20, 2014

The Schizophrenic mind, as seen from the inside looking out.

So living with two competing views of reality is going to be hard to describe. What it is, what it feels like, and how it all works, and how I hold it together is still something of a mystery even to me. These viewpoints on reality are not only incompatible, they are very nearly diametrically opposed. Furthermore, both views fear each other. As was demonstrated very strongly to me in past events, which viewpoint is dominant determines my behavior to a rather startling degree. (Actually to a degree that makes me very uncomfortable) There is no persistently dominant one, they switch seemingly of their own accord and on their own schedule, I am not consciously aware of the change. It is almost as if there are two different Prester John's at times. However, it isn't necessarily as clear cut as that, as the less dominant viewpoint has a tendency to occasionally intrude itself very very rudely, which is an incredibly stressful experience. I'll start first by describing in detail what each of these views are, and then how they interact.

1.) The Mundane

Although there are two distinct worldviews in my head, fortunately they do not have specific names. (And oh thank you god for that) So here I shall give them names to simplify communication. The first mindset is what I will call The Mundane. In this worldview I am Prester John, mentally ill man in my early 30's with a very checkered past. I came from an extremely psychologically abusive/poverty stricken childhood. I have spent most of my adult life trying to escape from my upbringing, to understand and overcome the many deficiencies it left in me. I have made many mistakes, held many very strange beliefs, and done many odd things over the years. All of it can be explained as untreated Mental Illness that started in my mid teens and progressed from there.

I am currently getting real help for my issues for the first time in my life and recognize that this will be a lifelong issue that I will need to learn to cope with. In many areas of my life, owing to a combination of my bizarre childhood and my Mental Illness, I am no more developed than a teenager. I am working as best as I can to rectify those deficiencies and to cope with my condition. My political views are fairly left leaning and I am generally optimistic about the future of the Human Race. I feel a strong desire to improve myself and become able to function in normal society.

2.) The Mystical

I shall call the second worldview The Mystical. In this worldview I am Prester John, highly evolved soul who came to earth to help the Human Race overcome the external influences which currently rule it. (The Illuminati, whom are yes, probably 4th Dimensional blood drinking reptilian aliens, but I'm not entirely sure. In either case, they sure as fuck aren't human.) My soul is not natively human, as it developed through its incarnation cycle on a different world with a different race vastly more sophisticated and more developed than Humans on Earth. I have been through relatively few human incarnations. This makes it difficult for me to interact with people, as they simply are not evolved enough to understand me, and I haven't learned how to simplify myself enough to be readily accepted.

My childhood was carefully planned for me and like the rest of my life has been under intense micro-management from my Guides. I have an extremely important role to play in the events unfolding on this planet, and I have been put through a rigorous and accelerated curriculum to prepare me. I am currently failing. My reach may have exceeded my grasp. My human body has proven to be too frail for the struggles I have put it through, I have been unable to force it to continue onwards. I broke an energetic circuit somewhere in my Manipura Chakra and my healing arts have proven inadequate to treat it. I am currently being a coward by taking my medication. (Psych meds have been designed by the Illuminati to target the Pineal gland, or 3rd eye, which is what allows humans access to higher realms of consciousness.) As a result I am probably going to be passed over for my Grand Destiny soon and will slink down into mundane nothingness, a failure of a life that wasted a human body that could have been better used by a soul capable of getting the job done.

In many areas of my life, owing to being at least 100 years ahead of my time, the uninvolved people around me misinterpret either my intentions or my reasons and attack me out of fear of the unknown. My political views can be summed up as "I'm pissed I'm not living in a worldwide version of The Venus Project and I'm even more pissed that the people around me are completely unprepared to entertain the notion of such a world. I am not optimistic about the future of the Human Race. Society is getting ready to collapse and I can't wait to watch it all burn. (I understand the condition of the planet is not entirely the fault of Humans, but I'll be damned if a large majority of them aren't practically begging for it.) I feel a strong desire to smash the current power structures in society and help replace them with something more evolved.

There we go, whoo, writing that was exhausting. That is literally the first time I have ever written down the belief system that comprises The Mystical. It is actually a massive relief to get it all out in the open. Now, a few things before we really start to delve in deep here. I have always had both worldviews to some extent ever since at least my early teens, if not earlier. Both views have developed considerably over the years. In each worldview I would say that many themes have remained consistent, but details have changed dramatically, particularly in the case of the The Mystical (If there is interest I could post a description of an earlier incarnation of the The Mystical, which if anything was considerably more bizarre than the present one.) There is a reason why I spent so much more time writing about The Mystical, and that is because it has been the dominant worldview for the majority of my life. In one form or another, I have long held it close as "the truth". It has dictated my actions greatly, as I have always followed the instructions I was given. (Either by my guide, or in earlier versions..........Enoch. Yes that Enoch.) On the other hand, I have several times retreated completely from the mystical worldview and embraced a completely materialistic worldview. During my most notable and intense Manic Phase I became a Libertarian. Somehow, believing that I was a Randian Superman made me a WORSE person than when I believed I had a grand destiny to become a super powerful warrior. (I guess what I'm saying is fuck Libertarianism forever)

One further note, each worldview has a couple of important variations depending on what symptoms of my mental illness I am experiencing at that time. In Schizoaffective, the Schizophrenic symptoms and the Mood Disorder(Bipolar type 2 in my case) symptoms can occur separately, or together, creating a wonderful cornucopia of unpredictable behaviours. The mood disorder can be either Manic or Depressed, which is fairly self explanatory. The Schizophrenia in my case takes three main forms, seeing the connections between apparently unconnected things (that only I can see) experiencing that I have psychic powers, or outright visual/auditory hallucinations. Generally the Shizophrenic symptoms work on a severity level, where if I am having visual/auditory hallucinations, then I am damn sure using my psychic powers to suss out the connections between major players in world politics so that I know where to steer the future.

This makes for essentially three important (but to others totally unseen) factors that have dictated my behavior over the years. Either I was in a mundane or mystical dominant worldview, and then it was like rolling dice for where my symptoms where at the time. Under the right circumstances, this could go my way and I could pull off something pretty impressive. And then I could wake up the next day, the dice coming up with a different result for my symptoms, and now I can't even come close to matching the previous performance. In short, this has made my behavior, and in particular my performance at jobs over the years rather............inconsistent. For many years I beat myself up pretty hard over this. I always felt the fault lie in my motivation, so I would strive to find ways to motivate myself or just brute force willpower my way through.

Some examples:

I drove (and instructed) 18 wheelers for 2 years. During much of that time, I was in a totally mundane state of mind, manic like a motherfucker, and the Schizophrenia was mild, just a good "gut sense" that I would follow from time to time to avoid trouble. My performance was remarkable. I needed little sleep. I was excited to get up every day and work, I loved the challenge. I purposefully took the highest risk/reward loads I could and I ran illegal as all fuck. (Let me emphasize the illegal part. My log books were an immaculately kept lie) My company loved me, I was a top 3 performer out of 800 drivers in my division every week. I only slept 3-4 hours a day and would wake up and vault out of bed. Food was always amazing. I loved life, I felt like a little God. I was living proof that with a little hard work and dedication you could make it in this country no matter what your background was.

and then I woke up one morning and it started to get different

I stayed in my completely mundane worldview, but my symptoms changed. The non stop Mania started to give way to Depression. My Schizophrenia went from "gut sense" to full blown hallucinations of demons attacking me. I started to under perform. I started to make mistakes. I started missing deadlines and making bad judgement calls. I didn't have the energy I used to have. I needed way more than 4 hours of sleep, and it  took me an hour to get moving in the morning. I just couldn't do it anymore, despite the fact that I really really wanted to. I tried everything to try and recapture my motivation, my boundless, endless source of strength and energy. I started to become terrified of the truck and dread every moment I had to drive. I lost all my nerve. In short order I racked up speeding tickets in 3 different states and tore down a bank sign, my only at fault accident. Each of the tickets I could have fought, I would certainly have won at least 2 of them, but I just couldn't muster the strength. I shut down. The tickets passed through courts without contest. With only a few days before my CDL was going to be suspended I turned in my keys in disgrace. I had gone from golden child to abject failure in only 6 weeks.

Another example of how this works would be the time I spent as a webcam tarot reader, a modern version of the old "Dial A Psychic" hustle. At the time I was very much into the mystical mindset, and I was slightly (but not badly manic). Getting the job seemed like a natural thing to do for someone with my psychic talents, and for a while I did enjoy it and made good money. The schedule of the job also suited me, because me hours were from whenever I felt like to whenever I felt like. I tried to keep a rough schedule, but it was always a relief that I could just decide not to work if I wanted too. (Pretty much everyone involved in the psychic industry is pretty goddamned flaky so an irregular schedule doesn't even raise an eyebrow.)

Mania in my experience is usually triggered by environmental factors. My first day as a webcam psychic I got pretty lucky and got a ton of customers. I made a couple hundred bucks in around 4 hours. The next morning I was manic, eager to launch my career as a successful psychic. I was planning into the future, fantasizing about what my lifestyle would be like with a steady, large income. I had natural talent, all I needed  was to build a brand and really get my name out there. I made a twitter account, started a new blog, and made a separate facebook account just for my new psychic persona. I did very well on cam for the first week or so, and in my spare time I worked on my social media. I was constantly thinking of ways I could expand myself and get my name out there. I made advertisements on craigslist, I contacted local psychic fairs, anything I could do to get myself out there. It was all coming together for me. I had finally found my calling. I felt great and started taking long walks by the lake just because I had the energy.

Then the Mania faded.

It faded fast this time, literally overnight. One day, I'm feeling great. I had made good money, had garnered a number of twitter followers, and was working on an ambitious series of articles for my blog. I stayed up late writing, and went to bed content and happy with myself, excited for the morning to come so I could resume working on my blog.

I woke up much later than usual, and the first thing I thought of was my blog. But instead of excited I felt deep anxiety about it, I didn't want to write at all. I shrugged my shoulders and figured today was as good a day as any to take a day off from my social media activities. I felt really tired, and the thought of cooking my breakfast just seemed not worth the effort, so I didn't eat. I dawdled all day online, not really doing much of anything, I didn't even feel like playing WoW, it seemed like too much effort. As the day wore on a sense of dread started to come over me. I could feel it intensely in my stomach, something was wrong, but I had no idea what. As the hour approached that I normally got on cam the feeling of dread only intensified. By the time I sat down to log in and turn the camera on, I was feeling such dread and anxiety that I was nauseous. I put these feelings aside and forced myself to go online with a fake smile and upbeatness I really didn't feel. I did very poorly, made little money, and logged off early.

I took the next day off, figuring I had been working really hard lately and just needed some time to recharge my batteries.

A day off turned into a week. A week I did literally nothing that accomplished anything. I didn't even play videogames or watch movies, I just sat at my computer. I would half read something, get bored, and then switch to reading something else. Or I would start a flash game up, and after 10 minutes get bored. I couldn't find anything to occupy my attention for more than five minutes. I took frequent naps, and sometimes just lay in bed. All the while I was starting to feel intense guilt over abandoning my social media and my job. Every day the shame and guilt got worse, until I finally forced myself to go back online.

I did terrible. Despite working more hours than normal, I had almost no customers. And worse, it seemed like my psychic powers were all gone, I felt like a giant fraud the entire time. During the few readings I did give it was agony. The entire time I felt like a giant fraud. I wasn't psychic, no one was psychic. I was just exploiting the trust of gullible people who just wanted someone to tell them it would all be okay. I couldn't shake that feeling that I was a giant phony. What the fuck was I doing trying to portray myself as some sort of light energy working psychic? I couldn't even look at a my social media, because it was all a giant fake and I felt deeply ashamed for ever having made it. This went on for a few more weeks, my feelings of being a phony growing worse and worse, my customer base dwindling down till even my regulars never came by, and I just gave up. Forcing myself to log on was a mighty struggle of willpower that would begin early in the morning. By the time my appointed our came to work I was a stressed wreck, desperately trying to hide my real feelings about what I was doing. As soon as I logged off for the night I instantly started dreading doing it all over again tomorrow. In the end I just abandoned the entire thing.

The truck driving and online psychic are two pretty typical examples from my life. I could explain many more examples but the pattern stays roughly the same. Start new thing, do very well at new thing, feel great, like a living god with an inevitably successful future. Then wake up one morning and all my energy is gone. No amount of willpower allows me to produce results like I had been. What work I manage to do is of poor, substandard quality. Then, after a brutal struggle with myself to keep going on, I abandon the entire effort. I feel such great relief the moment I decide to walk away. Relief that is slowly replaced by shame because I have let people down again with my failure. After a couple of weeks I don't think about the project at all anymore and just pretend it never existed.

One thing about these two rival viewpoints is that they are both entirely internally consistent. Either one can justify itself logically, albeit not rationally. They both also feel the same to me. One is not inherently more valid than the other, at least internally. I can recognize how irrational the mystical viewpoint is, but is only because I've learned how regular people think over the years. Without that, I would never for a moment consider that there might be something wrong with the worldview. I have no problem whatsoever behaving as if it is entirely the truth, it is never questioned. And when in the mystical mindset I will occasionally think of the mundane mindset and feel a pang of guilt over how naive that thinking is, how simplistic. I must have really been a coward to have backed down from the "REAL TRUTH". Conversely, when in the mundane mindset if I think back on my life all I see is a repeating pattern of irrational behavior and choices that frankly, I am horrified at. As a result, by and large I don't think back on it. When in one mindset thinking about the other one just feels painful, so I don't do it. I am only able to do so now because of the aid of medication, and it is still quite taxing. Even the act of recognizing that there are two rival mindsets is difficult, I have to draw the line mentally. Under normal (non-medicated) circumstances I would barely be able to process that there are two contradictory mindsets in me, for the most part there is nothing inside that alerts me to the conflict. I absolutely experience a ton of anxiety as a result of this split mindedness, and to some extent both are always vying for my attention. Until I was medicated I was never even ware of this source of anxiety, or this source of internal stress.

Moreover, when I switch from one mindset to another I am not really aware of it. There is nothing inside me that seems to change. It just happens. I do not notice any difference. No alarms go off, nothing at all seems to change inside. Even though my behavior, desires, and reactions to things have radically changed it does not seem strange to me in the slightest. The transition is always smooth and unremarkable. I am just going forwards, just like I always have. It is the same with all my symptoms really, even the manic/depressive. I never notice anything strange when I'm manic, I'm just being my awesome self. When I'm depressed I wonder why the fuck I can't seem to get motivated, because I really really really want to get back to being my awesome self. (Realistically, I could compare my past obsession with becoming manic to a drug addiction.)

The only way I have come to recognize that two separate viewpoints exist is because I am a very careful observer. I at least would note that the reactions of people around me would sometimes change dramatically, and I was genuinely puzzled by it. Only by many mistakes over the years and careful self reflection did it ever occur to me that the problem was ME, not everyone else. The first time the possibility that I was the one causing people to behave differently towards me was quite a startling revelation, it had never really occurred to me before. Later, through therapy I came to realize that the two differing mindsets existed, and that they switched over time. Only recently because of going off meds for three weeks did I come to realize that I DO NOT HAVE CONTROL over which viewpoint is dictating my behavior. In those three weeks I reverted fully back to the mystical mindset, as well as having several rather sharp manic episodes.

Now I have noted before that depending on a combination of dominant mindset and presenting symptoms, my behavior changes. I will now try to describe why it changes.

Keep in mind that when a change occurs, either presenting symptoms or mindset, it happens on a subconscious level, I am not really aware of it. I'm going out for a walk in the park today because I feel great and have the energy to do so. I always do this when I have energy. I am sitting here reading for 5 hours a day because it is vitally important, I always do this. I don't realize that I am behaving differently, nothing seems to feel at all different inside me. Paradoxically, the internal landscape *HAS* changed dramatically. The reasons for the behavior changes is because everything inside has indeed changed. I am just totally unaware of it, even though the alterations are significant.

The mystical mindset for example, views the world as unevolved, ignorant, threatening, and hell bent on self destruction. When in the mystical mindset I feel a strong compulsion to try and convince the world of the need to evolve their understanding, specifically everyone needs to understand things the way I do. As a result I have at times been a ranting madmen talking about conspiracy theories to anyone who would sit still for five seconds. I also feel compelled to obsessively research conspiracy theories. I will listen to "higher" music, Enya, Enigma, Deep forest, and the like. I also feel an immense and ever present sense of dread. I just know deep inside with every fiber of my being that something terrible is about to happen and I have got to try and do something about it. There is no choice for an evolved being like me, I can't simply stand aside and watch as the children play with gasoline. Other main points with the mystical mindset is its intolerance of repetition or drudgery. The mere idea of doing the exact same thing over and over for 8 hours is terror inducing. I must have stimulation, I must have new things to think about, I must have new experiences. If everyone else was as evolved as I am they would see that too. Keeping schedules is also noticeably harder in the mystical mindset, and there is a great deal of anxiety as a result of this. The last thing to note about the mystical mindset is the absolute certainty that I am doing the right thing, that I must find a way to fix the world, to make people understand why they should all be more like me. Hand in hand with this certainty is the knowledge that I am an alien presence on this planet, this is not my home, I do not belong here. My future is not in my hands, my guides arrange every experience that comes my way. I receive instructions on what to do next in the form of strong intuitions, or knowings. I do not question what I regard as the instructions from my guides/higher self, I just do it. It is all connected, it all has a reason, I am merely being lead to non stop trials to help me to see that. The terrible future is coming, the thing that I have known ever since my youth that would happen, will happen soon. I must prepare. I must follow my instructions so that I can be ready to help as many people as I can survive the coming ordeal.

As a result of all this, I behave very differently in the mystical mindset. Even my appetite changes, as I constantly indulge in overeating as a way of escaping the stress of the world's imminent demise.

The mundane mindset by contrast, is much calmer, and generally more productive. Working a job is considerably easier (although still very difficult to do long term), I am interested in academic subjects but spend less time reading. I go out more, socialize more, I pride myself on keeping to schedules. I am ambitious, I want to learn new skills, I have some goals for the future, some ideas about how I would like to live my life. The world is a strange place but I can learn to understand much of it. Things and events simply happen, they simply are. There is no grand overarching spiderweb of connections. I do not have special perception that other people don't, in fact I don't even worry about that. I just wanna get through my shift and go out and have a good time. The exception to much of this would be if a good manic fit hits while I am in the mundane mindset. In which case, I will become obsessed with achieving success in something great. I don't do anything without it being part of some master plan to propel me into either the world stage or wealth beyond my dreams. I try to learn whatever skills I think I need as fast as possible and become super critical about the slightest perceived flaw. Other than that, when in the mundane mindset I am a pretty regular guy. I have more stories about crazy shit I've been involved with/done than most, but I do not advertise this fact nearly as much.

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